The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant economic impact on many individuals and families. The USC Cecil Murray Center is offering “Financial Empowerment Through A Crisis” webinars through faith communities throughout Los Angeles. All webinars are open to the public. Join us to find out more about how to manage your finances and about resources available during this time.
Below is a list of assistance programs, with links for more information. You can also find general resources on budgeting and personal finances here.
NEW IN 2021
COVID-19 Financial Assistance Programs
As part of the federal CARES Act, individuals may be eligible to receive payments from IRS of up to $1,200 per individual in 2020 and for $500 per qualifying child in 2021.
California Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
As part of the federal CARES Act, the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program helps unemployed Californians who are business owners, self-employed, independent contractors, have limited work history, and others not usually eligible for regular state UI benefits who are out of business or services are significantly reduced as a direct result of the pandemic.
A new federal law put in place two protections for homeowners with federally or Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE)-backed mortgages. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides information on these programs, plus information if you don’t have a federally or GSE-backed mortgage.
COVID-19 Renter Protections and other resources
To assist residential renters who have been economically impacted by the Coronavirus, the Mayor and the City Council have adopted tenant protections on evictions and rent increases in the City of Los Angeles.
Tenants Rights Information
The United Way put together this one-sheeter about tenant rights under the California law, “The Tenant, Homeowner and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020.” Renters can also text “RentSOS” to 211 211 to get information about their rights. Read more on the United Way blog.
LA CARES provides child care for essential and low-income workers. Click here to apply for support.
SoCal Gas CAREs 20% Discount Assistance Program
If you have recently lost your job, even if you are receiving unemployment benefits, you may qualify for 20% off your natural gas bill with our CARE program. It only takes a few minutes to apply and no additional documentation is required.
SoCal Edison Assistance
SoCal Edison is temporarily suspending service disconnections and waiving late fees by request. If you are having trouble paying your bill, SoCal Edison encourage you to contact the SCE Customer Contact Center to talk about a payment extension or arrangement. If you have lost your job recently or your income has changed, you may also qualify for a reduced energy rate through the:
- The Energy Assistance Fund provides up to $300 to eligible customers once a year.
- California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) reduces energy bills for eligible customers by about 30%.
- Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) reduces electric bills for qualified households by 18%.
Many banks are offering programs for their customers. Contact your bank or mortgage service provider for more information about programs.
CIT/OneWest Bank (sponsors of Wealth-Building Workshops) pointed to these resources as a part of the “Financial Empowerment Through a Crisis” webinar:
Small Business Owners & Faith Community Organizations
Small business owners, entrepreneurs, congregations and nonprofit organizations may be eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). The Cecil Murray Center spoke with Joshua Dubois, who walked faith leaders through their options and emphasized that such program are for the faith organizations in this video interview.
Below the interview, the Murray Center also included links to more information about federal CARES Act program, links to participating financial institutions, as well as other state, local and private financial assistance programs, such as the LA Regional COVID-19 Fund.